The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Haters and Racists on Both Sides

By Scott Lazarowitz

Israelis are calling the large-scale terrorist attack by Hamas against Israelis on October 7, 2023 their “9/11.” Over 1,400 Israelis were killed and over 200 people were taken hostage. The Israeli military’s response has been massive, so far killing over 10,000 Palestinians, according to the Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

While the massive pro-Palestinian protests worldwide promoting peace and ending the violence are commendable, it is unfortunate that there are some people openly defending Hamas and its terror attacks on innocents in Israel.

And the violent anti-Muslim, anti-Arab attacks and anti-Jewish attacks here in the U.S. are sickening.

But the “conservative” talk radio personalities that I listen to are also sickening now in their constantly repeating of Israel First propaganda. No objectivity whatsoever with them.

After years and years of the talk radio crowd’s countering and debunking the “Trump-Russia collusions” and Covid propaganda and official narratives, you would think that the talk radio crowd would attempt to allow some non-Israel First propaganda to enter the discussion. Nope.

And as soon as the new Speaker of the House was installed, Mike Johnson, the first item on his agenda? Israel First. (Not America First. Not Freedom First. Not “Cut taxes, cut spending first.” Nope.)

Sadly, the conservatives and talk radio crowd are in lockstep with the 51st State, with emotionalistic rhetoric and ignorant commentary, not rationality.

And, no, I don’t believe there will ever be a peaceful resolution to the conflicts in Israel/Gaza, because there are haters and racists on both sides who dehumanize one another. This crap has been going on for a century in Israel, since well before the founding of the current state of Israel in 1948.

And, yes, both sides have plenty of hate and racism to be ashamed of. But we rarely hear about that on the Israeli side. As I wrote in my 2014 article on Zionism,

In Israeli society, anti-Arab racism and discrimination is rampant, whether the censors want that known or not. In a previous article I mentioned “Jim Crow” laws in Israel, and separate buses and schools for Israelis and Palestinians. A 2006 poll conducted by the Center for the Struggle Against Racism found that 68% of Jews polled in Israel would not live in the same apartment building as an Arab, 40% believed that “the state needs to support the emigration of Arab citizens,” almost half would not let an Arab in their homes, and 41% believed that entertainment venues should be segregated. In a similar 2007 poll the Center Against Racism found that more than half of the Jewish respondents believed that a marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is “national treason.”

2010 poll of Israeli high school students conducted by researchers at Maagar Mochot and Tel Aviv University found that half of the students oppose equal rights for Arabs in Israel, and more than half would ban Arabs from serving in the Israeli Knesset. Another 2010 poll of Israeli youth conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Macro Center for Political Economics found that 46% of the youths would revoke whatever rights Arabs actually do have in Israel. 60% of the youths believed that “strong leadership” was more important than the rule of law, and, when asked how they feel about Arabs, 25% answered, “hate.” (Those who would actually admit it, that is.) And a 2012 poll conducted by Israeli pollsters Israel’s Dialogue also showed large percentages of Israeli Jews approving of official discrimination policies against Arabs and denying Palestinians the right to vote.

Have things changed at all since then? Nope.

In 2016, the Times of Israel wrote:

Nearly half of Jewish Israelis agree that Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel, and a solid majority (79 percent) maintain that Jews in Israel should be given preferential treatment, according to a Pew Research Center in Israel survey published on Tuesday.

The poll, with 5,601 in-person interviews of Israeli adults, conducted between October 2014 and May 2015, found that Israeli Jews increasingly believe the West Bank settlements help, rather than hurt, Israel’s security – and most (61%) believe Israel was given by God to the Jewish people.

In 2021 the Haaretz newspaper wrote on a 2020 University of Jerusalem survey:

The center surveyed 1,100 teens aged 16-18 who constitute a representative sample of Israel’s different “tribes” – secular, religious Zionist, Haredi and Arab. The questionnaires were filled out between May and July, 2020, before the second coronavirus lockdown…

The survey found that a significant portion of teens view other groups as unfriendly or as having low abilities. About 60% of Haredi teens and 40% of religious Zionists view Arabs that way. Similarly, around half of Arabs and 37% of secular teens view Haredim that way.

Fully 49% of religious Zionists and 23% of secular Jews favored stripping Arabs of the right to vote…Religious Zionists also expressed the lowest support for the idea that minorities deserve equal rights.

Secular Jews and Arabs were the most willing to meet members of other groups, Haredim the least. Religious Zionists were specifically unwilling to meet with Arabs. Only secular Jews expressed relatively high willingness to improve relations with all the other groups.

Arabs are the group most feared and hated by Jews of all kinds. This view was expressed by 24%, 42% and 66%, respectively of secular, religious Zionist and Haredi teens. For secular and Arab teens, hatred is dispersed among several groups; among Haredim and religious Zionists, it is more focused on Arabs.

In 2022, the Israel Hayom newspaper wrote on a different survey:

The survey, which examined the Israeli sense of security and governance among a sample of 1,068 Jews and Arabs aged 18 and over, further derived that 75% of the country’s Arab citizens believe Jews have no right to sovereignty in the land of Israel, while only 25% said that they gave this right.

However, asked where their loyalties would lie in case of an existential battle between Israel and Arab states, 26% of Arab Israelis said they would support the Jewish state, 23% would back the Arab aggressors, and 51% said they would not support any of the warring parties.

The poll further showed that Arab Israelis place little if any faith in the country’s law enforcement agencies: 66% of all Israelis said they distrust the Israel Police, and within the Arab sector, the figure jumped to 73%.

Hmmm, I’m glad I don’t live in Israel. So, there are a lot of indoctrinated people on both sides. We don’t hear about the Israeli racists from the usual U.S. corporate media or talk radio, just the stories about the fanatical Islamists among Palestinians, it seems.

And the hatred and collectivist mentality in Israel is at the official level. As I further wrote in my 2014 article:

Regarding Gaza and the “Arab question” and the sentiment of a “Jewish State” meaning that only Jews may live in Israel, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a former member of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s far-right militant Kach Party that was banned in Israel, has called for an Israel free of Arabs, and for Israel to give the Gaza Strip a “thorough cleansing.” Lieberman also believes that Israel needs to treat Hamas in Gaza as the U.S. treated the Japanese at the end of World War II.

And following in Lieberman’s collectivist footsteps, the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s son, Gilad Sharon, had written an op-ed in 2012 stating that, ”We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima — the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing.”

Also in 2012 the former Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai said of the Israeli Operation Pillar of Defense attack on Gaza, “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then will Israel be calm for the next 40 years.” At that time, Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari declared, “There are no innocents in Gaza,” and he urged Israel to “mow them down!”

More recently following the Hamas October 7th attacks on Israelis, Knesset member Revital Gotliv of the Likud Party tweeted, “Jericho Missile! Jericho Missile! Strategic alert. before considering the introduction of forces. Doomsday weapon!…”

So she wants to nuke the Arabs? That’s what it sounds like.

Those kinds of statements are not rare among Israeli officials and public figures. In a recent editorial in Haaretz, “Racism Towards Arab Israelis Starts with Netanyahu,” the editorial board wrote,

“The pursuit of Jewish supremacy, discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizens and the deepening of the occupation is Benjamin Netanyahu’s life’s work…(In) 2003, he declared, ‘We have a demographic problem, but it lies not with the Palestinian Arabs, but with the Israeli Arabs’ who will remain Israeli citizens…

“Initially there was the limitation on political expression in Arab society and later the false claim that ‘the Arabs are going to the polls in droves’ and the nation-state legislation that established Jewish supremacy in Israel’s Basic Laws…

“…His government is apathetic to the wave of murders in Arab communities and to crime organizations’ taking control of the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens. It denies the existence of Jewish terrorism in the West Bank, which members of the government coalition are openly encouraging…”

The racism in Israel isn’t reserved just by Israeli Jews against Arabs, but also against black Israelis and African immigrants. Writing on “Israel’s Anti-Black Pogrom,” the late antiwar foreign policy analyst Justin Raimondo wrote in 2013,

…in southern Tel Aviv, Israel, where Likud member of the Knesset Miri Regev – a former IDF spokesperson and prominent political figure – led a well-organized march of ultra-nationalists demanding the expulsion of all blacks from Israel. Just look at the ugliness of these people – listen to them screaming “White Power”! And here are the Jewish Hitlers, proclaiming their desire to set up a “Jewish monarchy.” A few extremists? No. Israel’s Interior Minister has pledged to ship all blacks back to Africa…

Rising ultra-nationalist star Naftali Bennett, of the religious fundamentalist “Jewish Home” party, is demanding their immediate expulsion in order to preserve the “purity” of the Jewish state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, has pledged to get rid of the Africans in short order, and ordered the construction of a “security fence” bordering the Sinai, where most of the refugees turn up seeking asylum from Africa’s wars.

They come from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, for the most part, victims of the constant conflict that has made East Africa a bloody battlefield for many years. As Israel has made a concerted effort to boost arms sales to African nations, including Ethiopia, where many of the refugees come from, the influx can be seen as blowback – otherwise known as karma.

But the main conflict in Israel is still between Jewish Israelis and Arabs, Palestinians. In 2018 the Knesset approved a new law affirming Israel’s Jewish supremacy over the rights of Arabs and other non-Jews. Prior to that, a law was approved which required “all new non-Jewish citizens to swear loyalty to Israel’s status as a ‘Jewish’ state,” according to

Perhaps it is better for a society to just be a free society? Let people think and believe what they want? Ya think? Perhaps Israel would be a better country if it were based on more of a philosophy of individualism, as America had been based on, and not this collectivism and superiority stuff?

Scott Lazarowitz is a libertarian writer and commentator. Please visit his blog.

Image: Pixabay

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